MECEP Supports Bills to Restore Tax Fairness and Raise Revenues to Fund Education and Investment in Maine Communities

Augusta, Maine (Tuesday, April 23, 2013) Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), will present testimony today before the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation in support of five bills designed to reform Maine’s tax code to make it more fair and raise revenues the state needs to educate our children and invest in our communities.

“We have a dilemma in Maine,” Martin said. “We want good schools, good roads, safe communities, and opportunities to achieve a better life. Unfortunately, our current tax system is not generating the revenues needed to sustain public investments that will result in safe and vibrant communities and a strong economy. Adjusted for inflation, General Fund revenue in the FY 2014-2015 biennium is forecast to be lower than in any two-year budget period since the end of FY 1997 and a billion dollars below what it was in the FY 2006-2007 biennium. That’s a billion dollars we don’t have to make needed investments in our people, our schools, and our communities.”

The bills MECEP supports are LD 1124, An Act to Provide Income Tax Relief; LD 1113, An Act to Provide Tax Fairness to Maine’s Middle Class and Working Families; LD 1256, An Act to Establish Tax Fairness; LD 834, An Act to Make the Income Tax More Equitable for Citizens of the State; and LD 692, An Act to Provide Funding for Education by Restoring the 8.5 percent Income Tax Rate for High-income Taxpayers.

“MECEP believes there is a better solution that can restore fairness to Maine’s tax code and deliver the revenues we need to educate our kids, invest in our communities, grow our economy, and create jobs,” Martin said. “We urge the legislature to measure proposed legislation by how well each protects low- and middle-income people from property tax increases; makes sure Maine’s wealthiest residents pay their fair share; exports more of the costs for providing services and maintaining infrastructure to nonresident property owners and tourists; and increases accountability for taxpayer subsidies to large corporations and gets rid of costly tax breaks and subsidies that don’t help Maine’s economy and disadvantage our locally owned businesses.”